Object Title

Sword - Writhen Hilted Sword

Sword - Writhen Hilted Sword



Object Number



From the Hearst Collection, acquired 1952. Ex Spitzer Collection, labelled as lot 230 in 1895 sale

Physical Description

The blade is straight and doubled edged, of a flattened diamond section that flattens out and tapers towards the point. There is no fuller, but a medial ridge runs down the centre of the blade.

The hilt and quillons are of gilt bronze and the grip of wood, all carved and shaped to resemble a gnarled stave of three entwined branches, which splay out at the ends.

A gilded collar with roped decoration sits just above the quillons and another around the centre of the grip





OverallLength1099 mm
OverallWeight1250 g
BladeLength889 mm
QuillonsWidth205 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

On both sides of blade, close to hilt: illegible mark


Bibliographic References

A.R.Dufty and A.N. Kennard, 'Arms and Armour from the Hearst Collection acquired for the Tower of London Armouries I' Connoisseur, 1953, pp. 23-30 fig XVIII.

C. Blair, European and American Arms, London 1962, fig. 49.

R.E.Oakeshott, The Sword in the Age of Chivalry, revised edn, London, 1981, pl. 46c (illus. - det. of hilt) (Type XVIIIa; pommel ype ?V; cross type ?2) - 'mid-15th century'.

A.R. Dufty and A. Borg,European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London, London, 1974, p.15, pl. 5c.

A.V.B.Norman, The Rapier and Small Sword 1460-1820, London, 1980, p. 368.

of type 2) - 'c.1470-75'.

German, about 1480'.

C. Paggiarino, The Royal Armouries, masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arms and armour, Milan, 2011, volume 1


"Oakeshott Ewart - Records of the Medieval Sword" Pg 180, states that the blade is 76.2cm blade / 30". This is incorrect